RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The City of Raleigh wants to help pay for your new electric bike.

Earlier this week, the City Council authorized staff to move forward with an e-bike incentive program, using $150,000 in federal grant money from the Department of Energy.

The city will award 75 $1,500 vouchers to people making $63,500 or less, which is 80% of the area’s median income for one person and 75 $500 vouchers to anyone over 18.

But why pay for someone’s e-bike?

Raleigh City Council At-Large Member Jonathan Melton said to help the environment and improve mobility.

“E-bikes, one, are better for the environment. Obviously, it reduces vehicle miles traveled, it reduces traffic and congestion,” Melton said. “And then also the upkeep. Some folks can’t afford a car or don’t have a car, and the amount of money it takes to maintain a car on a yearly basis is substantially more than an e-bike.

The bikes can go up to 28 miles per hour.

(Gilat Melamed/CBS 17)

Brayden Summerlin rides e-bikes around the Triangle.

“I just enjoy the ride and feel the wind and through my hair and getting where I need to without having to park in weird places,” he said.

Summerlin works at East Coast Electric Speed Shop. The shop’s owner said they hope to partner with the city.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “I think the more e-bikes that are out there, the more they’re riding, the more people are going to yell at the city for making better bike lanes. They’ve got they’ve done a lot of work in downtown. They still don’t have a lot of protected bike lanes.”

Melton said the city will partner with local businesses that will take the vouchers.

Participants will track how they’re using the e-bikes. Melton hopes the data can help develop a long-term incentive program.

“Overall, giving folks options, I think, builds a more resilient city,” he said. “And certainly for folks who are car dependent or want to use their cars, it’s one less car on the road.”

Melton said applications for the vouchers should open in the fall.